Monday, July 16, 2007

Why I'm a ColdFusion Developer

In one of the comments to my Friday post, Barry B asked for my thoughts on ColdFusion's Strengths, and how they could be leveraged to get more companies on board with CF development. In my mind that called for more than a simple comment response. Below is the second of a series of posts exploring the topic.

I ended my last post by stating that I didn't think it really mattered whether or not ColdFusion is dying. It certainly matters to Adobe, but for a lot of us, this question only starts to truly matter if they should discontinue working on it. (and even still, I would expect companies like New Atlanta to probably pick up the ball). The important question in my mind is not, whether or not CF is dying, but whether or not it is still the best tool for the job that we're asking it to do. Do we stick with it or can we justify the cost of moving onto something else? To be perfectly honest this is a question I ask every couple of years. As of last time we seriously looked at the subject (When MX 7 was released) the answer was "yes".

The title of this post is why I am a CF developer. For me it started with working on some web-based tools for a newly installed LDAP server. I had been working in Perl using the Perldap module. Our other developer was working on some initial projects for a newly installed CF 4.5 server, and I decided to take a look at it. I'm not quite sure how they decided to get started with CF in the first place. In any event, I saw that what was taking me 50 lines of code could be done in 1 with cfldap, I immediately switched over. About 6 Months later a web group was formed in the University, and my job moved over. (even though I was only doing web part time then) Our new web group found itself supporting both CF and ASP applications. .NET saw the migration of our ASP apps to CF, and we've been a CF shop ever since.

Probably the number one reason we did not move to .NET is that we are a mixed group of designers and developers. Being tag based, ColdFusion allows our designers and developers to easily collaborate on projects, while working in the same environment. It's just not realistic to expect our designers to learn VB or PHP, when they can learn a few new tags as needed. There were of course other reasons we chose (and still choose) to stick with ColdFusion. Most of these Peter Bell listed in his "ColdfFusion - Why Bother?" post last month, so I don't feel the need to repeat them.

In my next post I'll conclude this series with some thoughts on what Adobe can do to better evangelize ColdFusion.

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posted by Luis


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a designer/developer using flash and php/mysql. I encounter a lot of cf projects in my business network, and with the latest cf having some awesome features out of the box, I'd quite happily like to get more involved in learning and using cf.

The main hinderance is the much more limited online resources available for cf - php has which has a great 'dictionary' of all php useage and user comment (livedocs is waaay too clunky in comparison). Often I see cf people saying 'you can do this in a few lines that will take 100 in php' but they never go on to supply any tutorials, examples and discussion that is prevalent in the php world.

I'd also hazard a guess that a few funky/buzzy/non-ugly apps developed in cf that got the blogosphere talking would persuade people like myself to look harder, ruby on rails has stolen a lot of thunder mostly down to its use in pretty, well designed and modern web 2.0 style sites whereas for whatever reason many cf sites are pretty dry and unexciting visually (e.g myspace is an anti-advertisement for cf to me)

4:32 PM  

Blogger Luis said...

You are absolutely right about the mentioned but not demonstrated direct comparisons. You're also absolutely right about livedocs being too clunky. If you are interested about learning more about ColdFusion I would suggest starting at (where you'll find a link for the less clunky cfquickdocs site.)

9:07 AM  

Anonymous Darth Sidious said...

Good point on the LiveDocs - it is very clunky.

5:15 PM  

Blogger jones said...

Nice blog...
visit also coldfusion example

10:11 AM  

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